Since starting ADDtrepreneur and connecting with other ADHD entrepreneurs I’ve noticed something.
I’ve discovered that many of us are freelancers, agency owners, or work in other creative industries and that most of us have a lot in common with the way that we work and how we feel about projects.
Lots of us get to that same point where we’ve worked for ourselves for a while, enjoyed the freedom (despite the struggles of ADHD stopping us) but we get to that point where we’re not excited anymore. Sometimes new projects don’t excite you anymore and you start to feel like you’re repeating something you’ve done over and over again.
When you get to that point it gets you down and zaps the life out of you. We need to be working on things we enjoy otherwise we no longer have that spark that gets us out of bed each morning and we lose that enthusiasm we need to grow and manage our business.
That’s when we need to really look at the type of work we’re doing and the type of clients we’re working with. It’s easy to start accepting work from anyone because we all have bills to pay, but some clients aren’t a good fit, and you’re not going to be a good fit for some people either, and that’s fine.
When you’re clear on the type of projects you’re going to be working on and who your ideal client is you’re able to start working on your strategy to attract the right work. Getting to this point is a HUGE eye-opener for any of us, not just those of us with ADHD. But once you’re at that point you need to make sure you’re working on your own happiness too, otherwise it’s easy to end up bored by your work again and not looking forward to getting up each day.
Managing your ADHD and your business is never easy. Sometimes you need to rediscover the happiness your business brought you and we’re going to show you 9 ways to add happiness to your business in 2020.
1: Try Something New
Our ADHD minds need to be stimulated, that’s why we enjoy doing new exciting new things. But running your business can start to feel stale and boring because you keep doing the same things in the same way. You always market to the same crowd. You always release products around the same topics.
It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and shake things up. Try something new that sounds fun to you.
Maybe this means hosting a webinar, hosting a month-long challenge, or creating an e-course. It doesn’t matter what you try or even how it turns out – just breaking out of your routine can be enough to spark a fresh round of happiness in your business.
2: Work with People You Like
You know that client? The one whose calls you hate to answer or whose name you see in your inbox and you instantly, cringe knowing it’s going to be a long day? What would happen if you got rid of them? What if you filled your books with only with people you actually enjoyed working with?
Maybe you can’t afford to drop that client right now, we’ve all got bills to pay. But sit down and look at what it would take. Would you need to find another client to replace that income? Do you know someone in your own network that this client might be a great fit for?
You can also start to look at the clients and customers you do love working with. What do they all have in common? What’s different about their projects? Why do they delight you? Is it that they respect your processes and how you work, or is it something else? Thinking about these questions can help you determine how to screen your clients in the future, so you only work with people you genuinely like and enjoy helping.
3: Make a happiness Log
This can sound a bit strange, especially for guys, but it’s going to help. As you go through your week, pay attention to the things that bring you happiness. Make a list of these tasks and why you enjoy them.
There’s no right or wrong answers here – you might love the design side of creating websites from scratch but hating working on SEO. Perhaps you enjoy coming up with content but hate the thought of getting in front of the camera for YouTube, Facebook Live, or even speaking on a podcast.
Once you have a few items on your happiness log, pause to read it over. Ask yourself if there are ways you could do more of these tasks. For example, how could you do more design work in the future?
4: Listen for the Dread
Just as you want a happiness log, it’s also a good idea to start making a note of the tasks you dread. Put everything on it that you find boring, tedious, or just plain difficult.
Now take a look at your list. With each task, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does this have to be done? Is it essential to my business?
- Does it have to be done by me?
- Could I outsource it to someone else?
- What would I need to do to outsource this?
These questions can help you remove dread from your business so you can get back to focusing on what makes you truly happy.
Outsourcing tasks doesn’t have to be difficult either. Start documenting your processes and use screen recording software like Loom to create videos of exactly what you do. Even if you don’t plan to outsource tasks right now this can help in the future.
5: Reward Yourself
It’s easy to move from accomplishment to accomplishment without taking time out to celebrate. You managed to help that client get new customers from their website. You finished that big client project. You set up your blog and actually wrote something AND published it.
But the problem with never celebrating those wins is that you can lose the feeling of accomplishment. The days begin to blur together in a never-ending to-do list that seems impossible to master. And that’s when we can become overwhelmed. It’s a sure recipe for burnout!
To spark happiness, try to find one accomplishment to celebrate in your business each day. This can be a big win like landing a new client or publishing your book. But it can be small too like marking something off your to-do list or researching how to get started in a new niche.
6: Change Your Environment
If you always work out of your home office, consider packing up your laptop and heading out. Run your business from a co-working space, your local library, or head to a local coffee shop.
Working in new surroundings can cause you to look at old problems in new ways. It can inspire you to hear the hustle and bustle of people around you. Plus, it increases creativity and helps you learn new things faster.
If you can’t change your environment, trick your brain. Use a noise generator and put on sounds from a coffee shop, office, or waterfall. Spotify has plenty of playlists to help. I usually search for ‘ADHD’ in playlists or ‘background sounds’. The soothing background noise can provide the same effect as if you’d actually gone somewhere else.
7: Create Just for You!
When you’re working as a freelancer or a business owner, it’s easy to get into the habit of producing purely for the benefit of other people or your brand. While this can be good, it also has a downside: you ignore projects that would be creatively fulfilling.
It’s OK to work on a passion project that doesn’t make you any direct income. In fact, it’s a great way to inspire yourself. Not every word you write or graphic you design has to be for public consumption. You can create simply for the happiness of doing what you love.
8: Go for a Makeover
Sometimes, you just need a makeover. This might mean getting your website redesigned, switching up your branding, or even just re-arranging your office. It doesn’t have to be a huge change either – it could be something simple like switching fonts on your website or choosing a color scheme that’s a better match for your office space.
Create a space for you to play and experiment with new ideas or designs. Maybe grab a few paint swatches for your home office. Ask a graphic design friend to create a brand board for you on Pinterest (remember to offer a favour in exchange!).
9: Define Your Special Sauce
You bring magic just by showing up. It’s your “special sauce” but to you, it’s so common you don’t recognise it. You don’t realise what your gifts or special talents are.
Take a moment and ask a business friend what you’re good at. Then listen to the answer – it might surprise you to learn that your friend thinks you have an amazing knack for writing killer copy or a gift for making complicated tech problems simple.
Make it your goal to spend more time this week focused on your “special sauce”. Do the activities your business friends say you’re good at and evaluate how you feel at the end of the week. Was there more happiness and ease in your business? Do you feel excited to get back to work again? These are clues that you may need to spend more time focused on these areas.
Happiness Is Yours for the Taking!
Your business can be filled with happiness and ease if you want it to be. All you have to do is make a declaration that you choose to delight in and enjoy your business. Then start looking for ways to make that happen. You never know what you might discover along the way!